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2019 - Home

Posted on: November 21, 2019

Sheriff Recounts Search and Recovery for Missing Person

Sheriff Richard Hickox

On Monday Nov. 18, the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was notified by the family of Tod Cline that he was missing and that they had filed a report with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Cline’s family provided CCSO with a copy of a homemade missing person flyer consisting of his picture, an image of his truck, additional identifying information and their contact information.    

Later that same afternoon, a representative from Union Pacific Railroad contacted the CCSO, advising us that they had seen the missing person’s flyer circulating around with the picture of Mr. Cline and his truck. The Union Pacific rep stated that on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 14, they had observed a truck matching that description stuck in the sand bordering the railroad tracks approximately 10 miles east of Hazen. 

Search begins on Nov. 18

Personnel from the CCSO, along with members from Churchill County Search and Rescue, responded to the area where the truck was reported to be. The truck was located and confirmed as belonging to Mr. Cline; however, he was not with the truck. Shoe impressions were located leaving the area. Deputies and Search and Rescue personnel followed the tracks and impressions until well into the early morning hours on Nov. 19 when the tracks became too hard to follow in the dark.   

Members of the Sheriff’s Office and volunteers resumed tracking at daybreak and around 11 a.m. located the body of Mr. Cline lying on a sand dune.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Cline’s vehicle became stuck in the sand prior to the afternoon of Nov. 14. He attempted unsuccessfully to dig the vehicle out and eventually abandoned the effort and began an attempt to walk out to find help. 

No evidence of foul play

The cause of death will be determined by the Washoe County Medical Examiner. No evidence of foul play was located or identified. 

The Sheriff extends his condolences to Tod Cline’s family and friends for the loss of their loved one. He would also like to issue a very heart felt thank you to the Sheriff’s Office personnel, Search and Rescue, U.S. Navy personnel from NAS Fallon, and all the volunteers who joined in the search or offered their services and time to locate Mr. Cline.


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